SoundCloud is a social community for musicians and DJs around the world to listen, record, and share their work across the internet. Like Twitter, you can follow and be followed by your fellow artists, but if you’re a fan, you can just follow your idols and even communicate with them.
With SoundCloud for Android you can listen, record and share your songs through any of the sharing-enabled app on your phone (like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Email, SMS, etc.). SoundCloud is designed to help musicians share their work with ease, in the cloud, but if you need it for any other kinds of usage you’re free to do so, sharing any sound do you wish — like an interview you did with someone.
Introducing the App
Once you’ve downloaded the app, when you first open it, you will need to log in with you SoundCloud app; if you have created your account and connected it through Facebook, you can log in there with just one click (if you’re already logged in to Facebook).
Record and Publish
You’re logged in, and now the first thing you will see is the Record Tab. It has a simple UI: just click on the REC button, and start recording; when you’re done, stop it by just tapping the stop button. Then you can play it to see whether you’re satisfied — if you’re not, you can reset and start over — and if you liked the result, tap Save.
Here you can set the content of your recording, such as by adding a cover image, the name of the recording, and where it was taken, among with the sharing options (you can even check in to Foursquare) and whether it is public or private. Now you can Upload and Share the recording. Simple.
What Are Your Friends Doing?
In the Incoming Tab you will see the same thing you see in your dashboard of the SoundCloud web app: the recent activities of your friends. Tap a track to play it on the player, or long press it to bring up a drop down menu to play it in the background, see the user profile, favorite the music, leave a comment, or share the track.
If you’re listening to the song in the player, you’ll see the same options you had in the drop down menu, plus the cover artwork, an icon to see the informations about the song, and the controller. You can skip the song, bring up the next song in your Incoming tab, and if you let your phone in landscape position, you will be able to do the most inteligent feature SoundClound has: comment on a specified time of the song, and read the comments others have left when the player comes to the specified time.
In the Exclusive Tab you will have the same features of the Incoming Tab, but you will see just the tracks that are exclusive to you to listen, the ones somebody wanted just you to hear it.
You and Others
You can also manage the songs you have uploaded in the You tab. Here you will see more tabs, Tracks, Favorites, Info, Following, Followers, and Friend Finder, and can navigate between from each to the next by swiping the page or tapping the tab.
If you have one song recorded that isn’t yet uploaded, you can see it in a darkish tone of grey; if you tap it, you can Edit, Listen, Upload or Delete it. Listen to your favorite tracks in the Favorites tab, see your account information on Info tab, see who you follow and who’s following you in the Following and Followers tabs and find friends that have their account linked to Facebook, if you have your Facebook account configured (if you haven’t, you can configure this in the same tab).
Additionally, you can search for Tracks and Users on the Search Tab. When you’re in the found user’s page, you can listen to their tracks, see their favorites, and follow them.
In Your Home Screen
SoundCloud comes with two widgets: the SoundCloud Player and SoundCloud Recorder. The Player is a simple and beautiful widget that plays the last song you were listening to (along with the playlist the song was in), and gives you quick control over a song that is playing in the background. The Recorder is just a big REC button, which takes you to the Rec tab in the application.
What is Missing and Final Thoughts
The app is very useful and does its job; the User Interface is beautiful and clean; the User Experience is smart; and the bugs are minor (and frequently removed in updates)… but there are some features that are missing.
- Playlist: At the moment you can’t queue songs in a playlist or even make a playlist.
- Upload: SoundCloud has no feature to upload an MP3 from your computer. Still, if you need to upload a track from your phone, you can use another application to do so, like MusiCloud.
- Download: Not every track is available to download, but if you do find a downloadable track you like, you will have to download it manually from the web app on your computer. You can download your tracks from MusiCloud and any song (that is available to download) on SoundGarage Pro.
- Editing: Editing, whether a track or your own information, cannot be done in this app.
- Browsing: The app could have better browse features like SoundGarage Pro and SoundGarage Mobile has, like searching through groups, or by style.
- Messaging: it is a social application overall, so why isn’t there the messaging system that is included on the web app?
- User Interface: The UI follows the colors and simplicity you find in the web app.
- Fluidness: Unlike other SoundCloud apps, this official one is very fluid; it runs all the contents at once (excluding the songs) so when swiping through pages/tabs you will not have to wait for the to content load.
- Record: The way it records and shares anything you want with an incredible simplicity is amazing.
- Official: It’s official, and is constantly being updated.
- Free: Probably some of the features above will be included in the future, as they are trivial — and as the app is free, you will not have to pay for anything (unlike other such apps).
- Check-in: Its incredible to be in a concert, and record a snippet of it and send it to your account, right? If you configure your Foursquare account, when you upload it, you will check-in whenever you are too.
You have all your basic needs covered in this app, but as with any app, there are always some things that you might want to add. You have other options, but I would stick with SoundCloud, because the pros are more evident than the cons, and as I said, as the cons are such trivial features, that are already in the web app, they have chances to become available in some feature updates of the app.
Another thing you must know is that you need to have at least Android 2.1; if you do not have it, you can use SoundGarage Pro and SoundGarage Mobile, which are both available for Android 1.6 and higher.